If Barr Has Come Around, the Sponsors Are in for a Rude Surprise


For those of us who were wondering whether Bob Barr has moved even a little bit in a libertarian direction on drug policy now that he's a Libertarian leader, this upcoming event pretty much answers that question:

The Donald & Paula Smith Family Foundation

Presents a debate:

Medical Marijuana:
Should the sick be able to smoke?

Bob Barr
Former Congressman
21st Century Liberties Chair for Freedom and Privacy at the American Conservative Union


Ethan Nadelmann
Executive Director, Drug Policy Alliance

James E. Fleming
Professor at Fordham Law, author of Securing Constitutional Democracy

Co-Sponsors: Fordham Law Federalist Society & American Constitution Society

Eleven states have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes. This has been largely accomplished by voter initiative but the issue is getting politicians' attention. In Gonzales v. Raich the Supreme Court majority sided against California and medical marijuana but said "these respondents may one day be heard in the halls of Congress." The new Democratic majority may be more receptive to their calls. What is the medicinal efficacy of marijuana? Was Raich the last gasp of the Rehnquist Court's "federalism revolution?" What is the connection between this and broader drug legalization? What has been the experience in these eleven legalized states?

Thursday, January 18th, 2007
6:30 P.M. Prompt
(Free and open to the public - Reception to follow)

Fordham Law School
140 W 62nd Street, McNally Hall
(Corner of 62th Street and Columbus Avenue)

If Barr, who supports the Defense of Marriage Act on federalist grounds, can't take a federalist position on the question of whether Grandma should be allowed to have a few plants on her window sill to relieve her post-chemotherapy nausea, what kind of libertarian (or constitutionalist) is he? I suppose it's possible that Barr will disappoint his sponsors by agreeing with Ethan Nadelmann, but things are not looking good.

[Thanks to Jonathan Rick for the link.]